tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 26, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT
ganization -- >> i was going to ask. >> -- to ask about this. haven't heard back. in fairness to him, he also called the shooter in norway a madman and compared him to osama bin laden. could have been fine if he left it there, but he didn't. >> joe johns, thank you so much. and now to my colleague wolf blitzer, "situation room" starting right now. wolf? brooke, thanks very much. happening now, a dire political crisis here in washington. democrats and republicans seemingly no closer to a deal. less than a week before the country is set to plunge into default. and the consequences could potentially be disastrous for all of us. i'll ask david plouff whether any progress is being made right now. and jammed phone lines crashing capitol hill as worried americans scramble to weigh in on this debate before it's too late. and a disturbing new study revealing a widening gap between
minorities and the wealthiest americans in the wake of a devastating recession. i'm wolf blitzer here in the situation room. first to what many say is shaping up to be an economic disaster of nearly unprecedented proportions if congress doesn't break the deadlock and agree on a deal to raise the debt ceiling only six days from now. the white house warning today there's no more wiggle room and beyond that date, quote, we lose our capacity to borrow. if that happens, interest rates could go up, the value of the dollar could go down. individual mortgages, car loans, student loans, and a lot more could likely suffer significantly, becoming more significant. some financial analysts are even warning of a potential stock market crash. all of that could push the united states into another great recession. let's go straight to capitol
hill. our congressional correspondent kate baldwin is joining us right now with the very latest. what do we know, kate? what is going on to avert this disaster? >> great question, wolf. congress is well aware the deadline is approaching, but with both sides still waiting for the other to blink, all eyes have turned to the house in a critical vote tomorrow. >> the leaders of the house and senate made their sales pitches tuesday. >> it's reasonable, it's responsie. it can pass the house and it can pass the senate. >> the senate plan is the only real compromise we have in congress today and it's the best shot we have to avoiding an economic crisis. a week from today. >> and while democrats and republicans battle publicly over the debt limit -- >> simply stop playing games. >> -- as the house prepares to vote on john boehner's plan, another battle is under way between boehner and other conservatives. >> we advocated something more
in the budget plan that the house passed. we think there are real problems with this plan. >> congressman jim jordan leads a key voting bloc of house conservatives. many have signed a pledge to vote any debt ceiling increase unless it comes with much more dramatic deficit cutting measures. now with conservatives unhappy, and if democrats remain united against boehner's plan, his margin of error is thin. there are 240 house republicans, it will take 217 to have pass the bill. that means boehner can't lose more than 23 of his own party to succe succeed. and tuesday, congressman jordan said boehner didn't have the votes. the speaker himself acknowledged they're not there yet. >> i do think that we're going to have some work to do to get it passed but i think we can do it. >> add to that in morning the house majority leader eric cantor told republicans in a meeting to, according to sources, to stop grumbling and whining and get onboard with the boehner plan.
another indication, wolf, they have their work cut out for them to get this past the house and that's only the first step. >> it's 217 votes, because there are two vacant seats in the house of representatives right now. normally the majority requires 218. that one vote here or there, given how close this potentially could be tomorrow could make a significant difference. is that what you're hearing? >> that's exactly right. they're counting the votes and that's why they have to be precise. every vote could count this time around. >> we'll be standing by. thanks very much. and by the way, congressman jim jordan has broken ranks with the speaker of the house. he'll be joining me live here in the situation room. that's coming up in a little while. meanwhile over at the white house, there are new signs president obama could veto the republican house plan if -- if -- it were to make it to his desk.
>> thanks very joining us, david plouff. are there negotiations going on with flynn on capitol hill? >> well, obviously the president has been in touch with leaders for the last several weeks and months. our administration is in close contact. what's required here, wolf, as the president spoke last night to the country is compromise. we need compromise to make sure the country doesn't default. we. can get a down payment on debt reduction and congress can work on tax reform and entitlement reform so we can get this country on the right fiscal path. >> the president's advisers will recommend that he veto the boehner proposal if, in fact, that comes to his desk. does that automatically mean the president has made up his mind to veto? or simply the advisers are recommending that he veto. >> the president was clear last night, he does not support an approach that would have this debt ceiling drama ahanging ove the economy in five or six
months. the chief of stoof said the president would not like that. it sounds like a hypothetical question because the boehner proposal doesn't look like it has any chance of passing the senate. the president said we're going to be at stalemate. we need the house and senate to come together and compromise. the boehner and reid proposals have quite a bit of similarities, so we ought to be able to do something that reduces spending, that sets up a process to do more deficit reduction in months ahead and make sure that what's hanging over the economy isn't a debt -- it's clear this debt ceiling drama has not been good for the economy or the country. why we would want to have it again in five or six months kind of defies logic. >> if they work out some sort of compromise between the two of them, what are the bottom lines for you, for those at the white house that there shouldn't be another vote. that should wait until 2013. is that the big stumbling block right now?
senator reid said he clearly does not agree with boehner's approach. >> there are similarities, though.. >> some of the spending cuts, not all. both have this congressional committee that's going to be charge the with trying to identify deficit reduction. you can see how there could be conner tos. eric cantor, speaker boehner, other republican leaders have said frequently through this whole process, they do not think we should extend the debt ceiling. what we need to do is come together, compromise, get us through this period of imminent price sis where we don't want the country to default and then let's move on first of all to focus on the economy and jobs, but finish the job of deficit reduction in months ahead. the speaker of the house john
boehner and the president are having very, very, i think, productive discussions about areas of potential common ground and we hope some of that work will provide the foundation for what congress does down the road here. >> so you ear ready to go along and yesterday you suggested that you're ready to accept the reid plan even though it doesn't include any increased tax revenue which so many democrats including the president always wanted. you're ready to go along with reid's proposal that doesn't include any additional tax changes, reforms, anything like that? >> this would have an initial amount spending cuts. the larger issues, entitlement reforms, tax reforms, those details would be filled in down the line. we're not willing to accept a huge deficit reduction without increased revenues. reid's proposal is sill still a
lot of spending cuts. i think it's going to make a lot of difference in terms of the deficit, but the larger amounts in terms of entitlement reform and tax reform would still come. the president made the report last night, the other reason he opposed having the debt ceiling hanging over the economy is let's say this congressional committee, which we all hopes works and provides deficit reduction, but what if it stalemated, the republicans in the house would say well, now we need $1.8 trillion in spending cuts alone, and that's not something the president would ever support. the american people have made it pretty clear, they support president obama's approach, which is we want to cut spending, we want to deal with entitlement reforms in a smart way, but we also want to make sure loopholes are closed and that the wealthiest in this country are also contributing. >> how far was the president willing to go in entitlement cuts, reductions for medicare, medicaid, social security? was there a figure that the president was willing to accept over the next ten years? >> well, the president i believe
on friday laid this out. we were talking about deep spending cuts, hundreds of billions of dollars potentially in savings and entitlements. they were talk about $800 billion in revenue that you would get through tax reform. so there was a lot of good common ground found. we hadn't resolved every issue, but hopefully, once we get through this default over the next week, let's make sure congress does its job. let's compromise, let's make sure the country doesn't default. let's get a good down payment on debt reduction. then we can focus on entitlement reforms and tax reforms. there's a lot of people in both party, joined by the american people who want us to do deficit reduction in a smart and balanced way. would the president be hope to two or three-week temporary extension in order to get the
job done? >> it shouldn't come to that because we still have plenty of time to do our job. i think the administration said last week, you know, if the deal was tied up and folks needed a day or two to dot the's and cross the t's, of course, you do that, but we have a hard deadline here. and everybody in congress understands that. we need to compromise, find common ground, make sure that the country doesn't default for the first time. that would have catastrophic consequences for our economy. much more ahead on the looming debt crisis, inyou had clooing a separate battle going on inside the republican party. why are some conservative lawmakers taking issue with their own speaker's plan? i'll ask republican congressman jim jordan. that's coming up. and an avalanche of phone calls and e-mails. just ahead, what worried americans want their law makers to do to solve the crisis.
the u.s. postal service announced today it's going to close 3,700 post offices in 50 states and the district of columb columbia. they will occur mostly in rural areas. the thosings will save about $200 million. that's not much compared to how much they're losing. the move shouldn't come as a surprise. postal system has been bleeding cash for years. volume of male down in the past years. more and more americans send e-mails and pay their bills online. the postal service lost $8.5 billion. that compares to a loss of just $3.8 billion only two years before in 2009. and things don't look any better this year. this quarter alone, this last one, the postal service racked up $2 billion in losses.
a lot of people in the communities, though, that are set to lose post offices are up in arms. the postal service says the village post office kiosks are going to be created in grocery and convenience stores in the next year to fill the voids in those towns where the post offices will close. you'll be able to buy stamps, mail packages there. and that might be the future of post offices all over the country. the postal service plans to review half of its existing 32,000 post offices over the next ten years for possible closure in order to stay in business. congress could provide more help to the ailing agency. it would relieve the agency of paying into a retirement fund for future retirees, health benefits and ultimate would reduce mail delivery to five days from six. that would save an additional $3 billion a year, but that's not going to be enough. the question is this -- how much do you rely on the u.s. postal service? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and
post a comment on my blog. the post office is kind of like the old crank telephone and the party line. it just doesn't fit that much with today's technology. >> yep. the whole world is changing, jack. thank you. >> we just heard from the president's senior adviser david flou plouffe on where the debt talks stand. let's hear comments from the other side. congressman jeff jordon, thanks for coming in. why do you oppose your house speaker john boehner's proposal that he wants to deal with this crisis. >> there aren't tax increases in this plan. i think that's a great step in this right direction. but we've always main -- maintained, let's take this moment to take care of the crisis and get a balanced budget
sent out to the states. everyone has to comply with the balanced budget requirement except, oh, by the way, the one entity that has a $14 trillion debt. and we're getting ready to raise that a couple trillion dollars more. let's put that requirement in place. that's the long-term game changer. >> you tried that last week, it was defeated in the senate. even if it passed the senate, the president said he would have vetoed it. so you got to deal with reality no uh. >> but wolf, remember this, the president is saying the same thing about the proposals on the table now. and at least the cut, cap and balance plan actually passed the house. it's the only plan put on paper -- >> but republicans only have a majority in the house. they don't have a majority in the senate. they don't have a majority in the executive branch of the government. you have to deal with the hand you're dealt. you can pass anything you want in the house, but if it doesn't pass in the senate it's not going anywhere. >> the bill that's supposedly being talked about to be sent over to the senate tomorrow, senator reid is against it and the president said he's going to veto that, too. so at least one bill has been through the house, one body of
congress -- >> but it's been rejected in the senate. >> it hasn't been rejected. it's been tabled. >> but that's the same thing. procedurally it's not going anywhere right now. >> well, maybe not right now. but who knows what happens down the road here. wolf, this is the thing. it's laid on the table. they didn't have a debate. let the american people watch the most dlib a tif body in the world is supposed to be the united states senate. >> do you trust eric cantor the majority leader? he says you and your fellow republicans who are po posing the speaker right now are just whining and not dealing with reality. 9 economic crisis that could develop next tuesday. >> i have great respect for speaker boehner and leader cantor. they have a tough job. they have to deal with the president of the united states who's spending time scaring senior sidss instead of reassuring the americans that there will be enough money in august to take care of our senior citizens and troops in the field. i have a great deal of respect for them. i appreciate the fact that they fought and don't have tax increases in any of the proposals. but we still think, let's put
together a plan that ultimately fixes the problem. there's only plan on the table that would prevent the downgrade. there's only one plan on the table that supported by the american people. 66 mrs. of-- 66% of the america people like our plan. why would we not go with a plan they support. washington always wants a deal. america wants a solution. americans are here to solve problems. our plan solves the problem. it's the smart thing to do. it gives the president the debt ceiling he needs so we have time to work out of this. >> the u.s. chamber of commerce just put out a statement, it's not a liberal democratic group backing speaker boehner's proposal saying this -- this legislation is critical, default on debt obligations is not acceptable option. the time for congress to act is now. that's the u.s. chamber of commerce. that's not the democratic party. >> you know that there is not a
default problem. we are not going to default -- >> most economists say the u.s. will have a limited amount of money, they'll have to pay the bills, but there will be a short fall and there will be a lot of bills that won't be paid. maybe they will pay the bills to china and to saudi arabia and the united arab emirates but they might not be bills to your constituents who need social security payments. >> now you're engaged in scare tactics. >> the there's enough money to pay senior citizens and the troops. >> a lot won't be paid. a lot of the government will have to shut down. >> even after paying those three that i just se scribed. the president would have to actually make some decisions. he would have to actually lead and prioritize. imagine that. but there's enough money in august that we can pay the troops, pay social security recipients and pay the bondholders to service the debt. >> you voted last week for the proposal to cut, cap and balance proposal.
as you know, the speaker himself said on sunday, he is ready for $800 million in increased tax revenue as part of the deal and he also said on sunday, that proposal that he made to the white house still is on the table. you hate that proposal, don't you? >> well, we're not for tax increases. and there's been no indication that proposal is still on the table. >> he said it was on the table sunday. >> i'm against tax increases. i think there's a huge majority of republicans. i think the american people are against raising taxes on the job creators out there. tax increases aren't going to fly in the united states congress. >> here's what a recent poll asked this question. are republicans in congress cooperating enough with president obama? 30% say yes, 68% said no. i know you have your supporters out there, but this poll shows that they're in the minority. >> wolf, the american people sent us here last fall to do the big bold things that will fix the country.
there's only one plan on the table that does the big bold things that addresses the problem and provides a solution, not a deal, but a solution for the american people. that's the plan that passed last week that's sitting on the table in harry reid's senate. have him bring it up for a debate and let the american people watch the debate. call me optimistic, but i actually think from the american people can see that debate, they would say to their member of the united states senate vote for that. >> if there's nothing passed between now and next tuesday, you're willing to take that chance, kwl whether it's default or not default. you're willing to avoid raising the debt ceiling and let the chips fall where they might? >> of course we want to reach a deal by august 2. but we have to do the right thing. >> most people want to compromise. >> what do you mean compromise? we raised the debt ceiling $2.4 trillion, which is what the president wanted. we're saying let's put a balanced budget amendment so the american people can say let's
mix the problem long term. >> all right, well, we'll see what happens. the vote tomorrow, you're definitely voting against the speaker, right? >> i'm not voting against the speaker, i'm voting against this plan. it's got good things in there, but i'm voting against the plan. >> you don't think he has the votes to pass it in the house? >> i don't think so now. >> all right, congressman, thanks very much. the whole country is watching very closely. appreciate it. one problem with the threat of default is that no one is quite sure what would happen, as we just heard from the congressman. economists can gez at the congress kwenss of running out of cash, but would lessons learn mean anything right now? we're taking a closer look at what's going on.
americans across the country are leading president obama's call to make their voices heard in the bitter debate over the deck. ever since the president's speech, members of commerce have been flooded with a sea of e-mails and phone calls. let geese to capitol hill. cnn's brian todd is working the story for us. brian, what is happening with the phone system, the commuter system, the e-mail system up on capitol hill? >> wolf, we've been all over capitol hill today. members and their aides telling us their phone systems, their e-mail servers have been inundated all day since late last night and they don't expect it to taper off until later tonight. >> good morning, speaker boehner's office. a. >> we're at 149 on hold.
>> there are about 24 calls an hour. out of 300 members websites we sampled, more than a third were inaccessible for at least part of the day because of volume. much of thf can this can be attributed from a few simple words from another part of town. >> if you want a resolution, let your congress member know. >> a lot of this has been staying strong, we support your plan. >> and this at the office of democratic senator bill nelson of florida. >> i really need him to support the president on this . we sampled mostly republican offices. freshman republican frank ginta said his voice mailbox was filled. >> generally speaking people want to see an agreement, but they don't, at least in new hampshire, want to see taxes raised and they don't want to see the debt ceiling raised without some sort of spending
reform. >> but are they expressing frustration at you, at others? >> well, there is some frustration at the process. this back and forth, we heard about doing press conferences. >> coming from congressional offices to a prayer vigil over here. this is an inner faith service calling for a solution to the budget crisis that does not place a burden on the backs of the poor, but the mood here, not so charitable to politicians on either side. people here know the clock is ticking and are fed up. >> i think we're all disappointed that both sides seem so locked into their own narrative. >> there is a sense of anger that i've sensed. there's also a sense of weariness that i've picked up on. >> you want weary? just glance at young congressional aides who have been fielding this messages all day. congressman ginta takes a lot of calls himself and seems to thrive on them. >> democracy is worth the time and energy and effort and i and others put into it.
>> do you think you'll feel that way in a week? >> yeah, i will. >> confident? >> yes, very. >> now, despite the indags, this does not appear to have been a record day. the average rate of calls per hour today still about 15,000 fewer per hour than at the peak of the health care debate. wolf? >> there has to be a real sense of urgency right now between the callers and e-mailers. >> everywhere i went. even e-mailsing you can see it in print practically. members realize, they know their constituents are patient. that seems to be reaching critical mass on capitol hill. thanks very much. with the national debt climbing as we speak. there's this footnote. according to the congressional research service, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since march 1962, 10 of which have occurred since 2001.
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word that the man accused of the norway terror attacks took drugs to make him stronger, more awake during the ram pain. what do we know here? >> yeah, wolf, that is from the suspe suspect's lawyer who said his client may be insane. his lawyers say it's too early to claim whether he will use that as a defense. after a hearing yesterday, the judge said the suspect admitted to carrying out the attacks, saying they were necessary to prevent the cloolonialization o norway by muslims.
and prosecutors have arrested four men accused of plotting to find terrorists by smuggling drugs into the u.s. and europe. the money and weapons were meant to go to taliban militants in afghanistan. one indictment describes a heroin deal that have grew into a $9.5 million arm sell. an ooatheist group is suing to block the display of the world trade center cross. they say the cross display is, quote, an inpermissible mingling of church and state. it consists of two steel beams. it was found in the wreckage and moved to the memorial on saturday. and one year after the worst oil spill in u.s. history, bp's bottom line is pretty good. the company announced $5.3 billion in second quarter profits. that's a $22 million turnaround from the same period last year.
$22 million swing the other way. and now they're posting $5 billion profit. >> a lot of people are going to be looking at the second quarter profits. player or spectator? the president's changing role in the debt talks and whether he can really be sidelined plus, fast and furious. why a controversial gun program is sparking new outrage today in congress. you see, airline cres promise flights for 25,000 miles, but... [ man ] there's never any seats for 25,000 miles. frustrating, isn't it? but that won't happen with the capital one venture card.
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presidential candidates are really players in this huge debate in washington raising the debt ceiling and a potential crisis. they're sort of talking amongst themselves but they're not really involved directly in this debate. >> a couple of reasons, wolf. michael jordan said he wouldn't take sides because he says i have to sell sneakers to everybody. right now candidates want to appeal to a base. a hunk of which does not want to see the debt ceiling raised unless we get a balanced budget amendment and some who, i think, are willing to take just spending cuts and no tax increases. so that's i think a big part of it. it's a political calculation, but also a congressional responsibility and presidential responsibility. they're not president yet. >> but mitt romney specifically, jam, he's the front-runner by all accounts, at least according to all the polls. if he wants to be the next president of the united states, the leader of the republican party, shouldn't he be more
directly involved in at least smeeking out affirmatively, negatively about what's going on? >> well, may shell bachmann say she is's not for it under any circumstances. if you're running for president, you're supposed to have the opinion on everything. this is the biggest issue we're facing right now. it would be interesting to know what governor romney's position is on this. it's totally fair to ask him, what would you do? you're running for president. >> sure, and it's totally fair for someone like mitt romney to say this is still in flux and right now, dividing our party is not what we want to do. we want to bring it together behind a responsible approach. so it's not exactly leading from behind like our president does on occasion. but it is responsible. >> but you're governor, so you would say it's okay for mitt romney to say i just don't have a position on this?
i don't think that people would like that too much. the speaker is doing a terrific job of bringing the republicans together. we're talking about no tax increases and spending cuts. it makes me want to wear a green tie and paint my face orange. >> why doesn't he get his advice from rush limbaugh. >> i want to get to rush limbaugh in a moment. when you say he's doing a terrific job uniting the republican party, we just heard from jim jordan, the republican from ohio, the chairman of the key conservative bloc in the house and he hates what the speaker is bringing up tomorrow. ehe's going to vote against it and he's predicting the speaker doesn't have the 217 votes necessary to pass it. >> which is why right now is not
the time to try to further divide the republican party. i think hate is a pretty strong world. tactically there may be some differences, but republicans behind -- i think the speaker all want exactly the same thing. real spending cuts and a long-term solution to the problem which is what the president is not putting on the table. >> james, let me bring in rush limbaugh to this conversation. yesterday, he said this on his radio show about a phone call that he had received a little while earlier. listen to this. >> well, this morning i answered the phone. and on the other end of the phone line was the speaker of the house, john boehner. and congressman boehner, the speaker, filled me on what is
the latest proposal on the table. >> all right, james, rush limbaugh is an influential conservative talk show host. anything wrong with the speaker calling rush limbaugh, briefing him on his proposal, trying to get support among rush limbaugh? >> it's not wrong, but it's an interesting piece of relevant information that this is who he's reaching out to. i come back to the fact that we're not supposed to discuss things that would divide the republican party. i would be interested inform mitt romney's position, rick perry's position. i guess the doctrine is if it's a difficult position, republicans shouldn't talk about it. >> james, you wouldn't beic make a very good republican. this is going to come as a shock. just because you make things up doesn't mean it's true. when you said speaker boehner called to get directions or instructions from rush limbaugh, no.
i think as wolf just pointed out, his largest radio audience in the country. and it's the republican base. >> again, i think rush limbaugh is the most powerful person in the republican party. he has the greatest political sway. i think it's an interesting thing to see who the speaker is speaking to in the middle of this crisis. that's all. i think the public will find this interesting, i know i do. i'm not saying it's wrong. i don't think it's immoral. or illegal. i just think it's interesting. >> you've got to give the speaker, alex, credit for going up against some of the tea party activists in his own party. and eric cantor as well has been complaining these guys like jim jordan are just wining right now. there's a crisis that's about to happen in this country within a few days unless they raise that debt ceiling.
fufrl there are some people that just don't believe it. >> i don't think that's the taste. nobody wants, if they have their chance to default on the debt. the problem is there's not one crisis. there's a debt crisis raising the debt ceiling crisis. but the big crisis is we're spending ourselves into insolvency. we're following the path of greece and italy. nobody wants to put a band-aid on that today. it's responsible for republicans to do what they're doing right now. i think republicans are kbg courageous right now. >> jim demint said it wouldn't be that bad a thing, donald trump said it wouldn't be that bad a thing. there's a lot of republicans out there that are saying that default wouldn't be that bad a thing. the idea that there are no republicans out there is just not true, alex. >> i take exception with them,
but i understand their point of view. some republicans understand that this long-term debt crisis, president obama has made even worse is such a serious problem that they think -- >> very quickly, james, you applaud the speaker of the house, john boehner for willing to agree for being ready to increase taxes by $800 billion? >> well, it is, if that's -- as i understand it, it's not clear if that was going to be kind of enhanced revenues. if he did -- >> that was a tax increase for all practical purposes defined by governor norquist. >> the speaker himself says it's a tax increase. >> just say you appreciate that. >> yeah, i kind of like him. he's got a little eddie haskell sticking a knife in his back every time he turns around. i don't mind boehner. >> it's a shame right now we've gotten to this point. >> yeah, it is.
>> remember we have tripled the debt that george bush left us. >> we'll talk tomorrow. thanks very much. >> cnn is learning, by the way, new details, exclusive details about what happened in norway. the norway attacks. did the accused killer plan nor bombings. we'll go there live to hear s new information. every day, all around the world, energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment we are america's natural gas.
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if the united states defaults on debts t wouldn't be the first to do so, but previous examples don't offer much guidance about what happens here and around the world for that matter. lisa sylvester is back and monitoring this party of the story for us. describe the impact of a default. >> there is a huge impact and implications, but the markets haven't been rattled with the standoff. everyone believes something will get done and it is unimaginable that the u.s. government will default. the governments do default and it happened in the past.
standard and poor's said the government fails to pay on the due date or tenders an exchange offer with less favorable terms than the original issue. >> between 1983 and 1998, there were no countries that defaulted, but since then there have been a dozen country theas failed to meet the debt obligations. argentina had the largest in 2001. $82 billion. ecuador defaulted twice, but not the only country that has done that. on the other side of the globe, ukraine defaulted twice in 1998 and 2000. when a country defaults. the credit rate suggest downgrade the. that is d rate for example selected default. it's hard to compare the united states to other countries that defaulted in the past. they had no choice. no option to raise outside money
or increase revenue. unlike the u.s., they can raise the debt ceiling. >> you cannot put in argentina or ukraine or rush o russia in the same category as the united states. nobody trusted the russian government to even a small degree to which they trust the u.s. government. that's just severally accepted. a default for the united states is just as secretary geitner said, unthinkable in the literal sense. markets have not thought it possible to this day. >> what will it mean if the u.s. government actually defaults? it will make it more expensive to borrow money and tlod a loss of jobs and cost more for credit cards and lower values as well as reduce savings. it's a hard scenario to imagine, but it will have a catastrophic
effect not just in the united states, but around the world. pushing up interest rates and possibly triggering a global recession. international economists say even if the u.s. doesn't raise the debt ceiling, they will have a lot of money coming in and the first in line to get paid of credito creditors. they will not default on the debt obligations. you might have federal workers not getting paid and that would knock the u.s. from the aaa rating and not the same thing as a government default. >> it was unthinkable, but it's at least thinkable. i read about it on my blog. i want our viewers to check it out if they have the time. thanks very much. president obama's role is shifting in all these talks as republicans try to keep out of the conversation. can he really be sidelined? jack cafferty is asking how much do you rely on the u.s. postal service? stick around. your e-mail is coming up next.
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say. joyce in texas, not much. modern technology allows you to do what you couldn't do before. if they would end our junk mail we would be fine without all that paper. i don't use the post office often, but it's convenient to have in most towns f. thousands close, it will make it difficult for folks like me to use them as needed. i would rather spend $1 for a postcard than to see a post office close. >> many senior citizens depend on the post office. many of my payments are being done electronically, but if it keeps someone employed, i'm all for it. alex in washington, call me old fashioned, i receive and pay bills by mail. i don't trust the new systems to put my money in the clouds. today's paper mail is the same as the pony express was when the telegraph was invented. the riders would go across the prairie tearing down the lines
to keep their jobs. technology won out and this will be the same thing with e-mail. jim in reno writes i rely on the post office for bill paying and occasionally letter. truth is, i enjoy picking up the mail. >> lauren writes very funny. the next thing you would ask us how often we ride horses to work. you are such a kidder. here's wolf. >> thanks, jack. >> you are in "the situation room." happening now, always seen as a safe bet, america risks turning into a deadbeat six days before raising the debt ceiling, lawmakers are no closer to a deal to keep the country from going into default. did the man held for norway's bloody massacre have contact with terror cells there and abroad? nick robertson has the latest from the investigators.
it was called fast and furious. a bundled sting that alleged bee put guns in the hands of mexican drug cartel s. federal officials get a grilling from lawmakers. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news. political headlines and jeannie moos straight ahead. you are in "the situation room." r perhaps starting out as a game of chess is a game of chicken. democrats and republicans are unwilling or unable to reach a compromise and a collision that could be catastrophic from the economy. from the deadline of raising the debt ceiling, high level talks are deadlocked and the country faces potential default. let's go to the white house correspondent brianna keilar who is working this for us. we have seen his strategy and
role shift. >> and multiple times it shifted. we saw the president delegate to vice president biden as the chief negotiator for the white house. this went on through may and june with the biden talks to congress. the president came very involved when the talks fell apart for several weeks in intense discussions with house speaker john boehner. we are seeing his role change as house republicans try to inject him from the conversation. the president visited the norwegian em bass to pay respects to the vehicles of the attacks in oslo. a presidential duty, but this was the only public engagement. quite a change from the last few weeks when he hosted meeting after meeting with congressional leaders. >> this is the same shot you had yesterday except for we are wearing ties yesterday. >> friday boehner negotiated with senate leaders instead.
>> i have been left at the altar afrl times. >> he spoke to reporters and many wondered if the president had not been cut out of the process. >> do you feel sidelined? >> absolutely not. i think not for any lack of trying to keep things somewhat quiet. it's been made clear that conversations between the white house and leaders have continued through the weekend and into the week. they have to continue. we have to find a compromise. >> the conversations between the white house and conversation have diminished and they primarily involve democrats. the president's most powerful tool may be the bully pulpit and he used it with the seventh prime time address since becoming president. >> for you want a balanced approach, let your member of congress know. if you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message. >> for worked.
lawmakers's websites including the speakers crashed. offices were inunidated with phone calls and e-mails and that is why the president is still a player in this game. veteran journalist and the national journal's editorial director. >> the president is in a good position to shape the perceptions of the deal on the table and the options available to the contrary. right now if you look at polling including our national connection poll out today, no question more people said they trust him than republicans in congress to make the right decisions on the deficit and the debt. that's actually i think kind of a limited asset at this point in the debate. >> why does brownstein say that's a limited asset? because polling shows that americans don't show the same or they don't feel the same urgency in the situation. certainly president obama was trying to convey last night and they may not feel an urgency
until there is a default and in terms of politics, everyone loses. republicans, democrats, the white house, but especially president obama when it is seen that a president owns the economy. >> there is a report today that a conservative group encouraged americans to call the white house and jammed the phone lines there as well as -- what are you hearing about this. >> the phone lines had been jammed as i read the report. i spoke with an initial who said that's not true. it was not shut down. it was working and we are told there was an increase in the volume of calls and we are waiting for more information to see how much of an increase. >> thanks very much. if congress doesn't meet the deadline to meet the limit, that deadline being tuesday, the value of the dollar could drop and americans can face higher interest rates, making mortgages, car loans and student loans more expensive and harder to get. stock market could plunge. there dire warnings and the
government would not be able to make social security payments on time. let's bring in gloria and our cnn contributor. with so much at stake, is there a way out within the next six days. >> i think you are asking the $4 trillion question and you are not sure. there was an encouraging sign and this was the person to watch. mish mcconnell who leads republicans in the senate and came up with an initial compromise plan and is now clearly looking to find a way out. let's listen to what he said. >> we are going to have to get backing to and get a solution here. we cannot get a perfect solution from my point of view, controlling only the house of representatives. i'm prepared to accept something less than perfect because perfect is not achievable. >> wolf, i spoke with the office of management and budget director today. it will be on at 8:00 tonight.
i played this exact sound byte for him and said what do you think? he said mitch connell and i are on the same page. i agree. it can't be perfect, but we have to work it out. >> we did hear in the last hour, from the president senior adviser, maybe there is common ground between what the speaker has proposed and what harry reid proposed and they can come up with a compromise that way. >> that would be great. certainly yesterday the partisan plans that were put out are the kind of things you see at the beginning of a negotiation and not the 11th hour. i think the flood of walls and e-mails to capitol hill should send a clear signal. the president asked folks to do it and they followed through. the message has been focus on finding a solution. stop playing games with our political future. that's a message that everybody should be getting to stop listening to these act vifts and
start listening to the american people. >> it's 87 people in the house of representatives. they were elected on a no tax pledge. in a way it's interesting. at this point it goes beyond ideology to theology. this is what they came here to do and they are not interested in compromise. if it were just up to the leaders as you know and the president of the united states, i think they would have cut a deal weeks ago. >> john boehner would have, but that gets to the larger lost opportunity. the whole behind the tea party movement was about dealing with the deficit and the debt saying it was generational theft. when you have a democratic president willing to embrace reform and tax reform is a venue to lower rates and raise revenues and have a grand bargain, that is a huge opportunity. the future conservatives will regret losing that opportunity. >> i agree. i think it begs the question,
why don't republicans declare victory and go home? >> exactly. david brooks. you wrote a piece entitled john boehner's hypocrisy on the daily beast. explain what you mean by that. >> the republican leadership back tracked from the purpose of this whole fire drill. it was to come up with a plan to reduce the debt. tax reform and entitlement and they are not on the table. people are looking for political survival. a lost language really just serving as a fig leaf over the plans. dh whole idea and the focus on a short-term plan. a month ago, eric kantor frs saying it would be irresponsible and you need to deal with the tough things now. if not now, when? >> you could make the case that both the plan advanced by john boehner and the advance are not nakedly partisan. there republicans who really
don't like boehner's plan in his own flock. there liberal democrats who are i guarantee you going to go pretty craze when they see what is in harry reid's budget cuts. in a way, these two plans are actually geared to try and get a result. i don't think there is blatantly political as the house vote. >> we will see tomorrow the first step if the latest boehner proposal has 217 votes in the house. that will be close. thanks very much for joining us. the north american viewers are hosting in the arena. 8:00 eastern. we will be watching. even if a debt deal does emerge, america is likely to face major belt tightening and that couldn't come at a worse time with households hit hard by the recession. here's research about the wealth gap. this is mary snow.
>> the dwight between whites and minorities with wealth is the widest it's been in at least 25 years. it comes as no surprise if communities like this. when edgar opened this hardware store nearly three years ago in brooklyn, he planned on getting it up and running and handing it over to his parents. the recession changed everything. his small business is struggling and he had to lay off workers and now taking in relatives out of work themselves. >> my american dream was to get a business running. being the owner of a business. that was my dream. this dream has become not a nightmare, but really hard. >> for minorities, it took a heavy toll. they have fallen further behind in the gap behind whites. the research center found that the median wealth of hispanics fell by 66%.
for blacks it was 53%. compared to a 16% drop with white households. the senior researcher said the study was done between 2005 and 2009. it finds the main reason for the drop in wealth with hispanics is due to the housing crash. >> hispanics are much more likely in live in areas like arizona, california, florida, and nevada. the the housing downturn was much more severe. they were strongly impacted by the housing downturn. >> blacks were also hard hit said coacher. he said they were also hurt by largin increas large increase in unemployment. it's slightly higher for hispanics and compare that to the typical white household where the median is estimated to be $113,000. it's the widest divide between
whites and minorities when this data started to be collected. for edgar, he once dreamed of financial security and owning a home, she now working to survive. >> how far does this set you back? >> all the way back to the drawing board. >> as far as how much damage is done, the research center has sobering projections. it estimates that the recession set back wealth levels for whites about a decade and for minorities as much as two. >> very sobering. america's racial wealth gap. i asked the senior adviser about the political impact. listen to his answer. >> wolf, we are not worried about the politics of it. we are worried about what the recession is. i believe that survey was from 2005 to 2009. some of that predated the
recession and it's the point the president made since he occupied the white house. the problems in the middle class and predating the great recession. we need to focus on things like education and trying to create the jobs required. families can not just survive, but begin to put the money away and it shows the devastation that the policies of the last decade and the recession had on these families. >> let's go to jack cafferty for the cafferty file. >> after listening to the speech last night, you have to wonder. is president obama more worried about the u.s. defaulting on its debt obligations or is he more worried about being reelected to a second term in 2012? the president said he wants a deal on the debt ceiling and unable to bring both parties together to agree on anything even after closed door meetings. john boehner walked out on talks with president obama this past weekend and said he won't negotiate with the president
anymore. instead he will work directly with senate majority leader harry re tirks d. the president is in trouble. a lot of people who voted for him in 2008 are not pleased with the job he is doing. "the washington post" poll out today shows the number of liberal democrat who is support obama dropped from 53% last year to below one third today. the african-americans support policemen uhhed from 77% to barely one half. one recent poll showed that any generic candidate would pete president obama by points if the election was held today. the field of presidential candidates leaves a lot to be desired. senator bernie sanders, an independent from vermont who caucuses with the democrats thinks it would be a good idea
for president obama to face primary ob sigz as we get closer to the election. the last president to face primary opposition was jimmy carter. here's the question. is president obama more concerned with the reelection than with the welfare of the country? go to cnn.com/cafferty file to post a comment on my blog. we remember what happened to jimmy carter. >> ted kennedy softened him up and jimmy carter was defeated in the bid for reelection. you remember that as well. thank you. are people on the political extreme calling the shots when it comes to the debt ceiling crisis. much more on the looming deadline. we will talk about it with barbara in maryland. exclusive information about the norway terror investigation. was the accused killer planning more attacks? outrage on capitol hill over a government program critics say may have put guns in the hands
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new details in the terror attacks in norway. our senior international is on the scene for us. what are these details showing us? what are we learning? >> wolf, the small farmhouse that they rented to buy fertilizer according to the prosecution has been the same for the last few days. just as we arrived at the ceiling, they have a debt explosion. they discovered explosive at that bomb he made and taking some parts away for forensic analysis. the fertilizer he bought and stored to making the bomb is a focus of an investigation at the moment. they are not sure they can
account for the fertilizer they bought. there was a possibility of another bomb. >> taking the claim that he was working with terror cells outside of norway. >> she said look. this guy is really bad. he is in fact described as being incredibly evil. what he is trying to do is hog the lime light. we are not sure if he believe him or not. we don't know if we can trust what he is saying. he is doing this to hog the lime light and make everyone afraid. i spoke to a senior analyst that works on the assessment and said look, we do not know if we can
take him at his face value. we absolutely have to verify if it's true or not. they are taking it very, very seriously. in fact they really are trying to find out through these cells if they exist. he may be wasting their time. >> par also spoke into the attorney. what is he saying about his client and what he is like? what are you hearing for the lawyer. >> three times over the past few days. he fines it hard to understand him. when he was asked, do you think he is insane, he said yes. >> this whole case is the same.
we don't understand this point of view. we will all understand him. in his mind. >> his lawyer said although he thinks it must be unsafe, that's not a clinical statement and there will be doctors who will analyze for the police to see what mental condition is in and he will make up his mind about what the defense will be. it's possible that he may get back from the doctor that is inseen. it will be to plead insanity and it's quite possible to tell them that you are the defense lawyer. that's about trying to get rid of islam and bring down the
government. >> doing excellent reporting. thank you. with congress deadlocked over raising the debt limit here in the united states, the lawmakers at both ends of the spectrum holding everyone else hostage. if there is a debt deal it could lead to cuts in progress with the middle class and the elderly. i will ask barbara how she feels about that. we all have internal plumbing. but for some of us with overactive bladder, our pipes just don't work as well as they should. sometimes, i worry my pipes might leak. but i learned there's something more i can do. now, i take care with vesicare. once-daily vesicare can help control your bladder muscle and is proven to treat overactive bladder with symptoms of frequent urges and leaks day and night. if you have certain stomach or glaucoma problems,
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>> the proposals have spending that sets up a process to do more deficit reduction and make sure that what's hanging over the economy is clear this debt ceiling drama is not good for the country. why we want to have it again in or six months defies logic. >> basically you are suggesting if i am hearing directly, boehner get with harry reid and they work out a compromise between the two of them. what are the bottom lines for you? there shouldn't be another vote raising this issue next year. that should wait until 2013. is that the stumbling block right is now? >> baner and reid did not agree. >> there similarities though.
bl >> per there dire warnings of catastrophe. neither side seems ready to budge, at least publicly right now. here is the question. are extremes calling the shots. we asked jim aa to take a closer look. >> it's starting to look that way. deals are one thing and votes are another. it's not whether they can close the deal, but whether they will let them. >> rt the showdown stretched the capitol to extremes. the tea party republicans pulling on one side and liberal democrats tugging on the other. >> president obama, quit lying. >> republican congressman joe
walsh posted a video accusing the president of lying about the possibility that social security checks could be delayed and the country goes into default. >> that's not being truthful. >> is it fair to say the president is lying and call him a liar. >> in that case he lied. >> you are calling him a liar. >> president ronald reagan warned the same thing could happen in his own debt ceiling standoff. >> this threatens the holders of government bones and those who rely on social security. >> sheila jackson lee suggested republicans are sticking into the president because of his race. >> why is he different? in my community that is the question that we raise. >> why this president? >> do you think it could be racial? >> let me say this. i would like to get past the personal and i pose the question and think those individuals need to answer the question.
>> is it a fair question. >> i think it's a fair question. >> instead the reason may be pure politics. when george w. bush was period, the congress voted to raise the debt ceiling seven times on on nearly every occasion, dozens of republicans and gop leaders voted yes. >> i have never seen anything like this. it's very scarey and very embarrassing for our system of government. >> alice said president obama is also to blame for walking away from the recommendations of his own debt commission. >> i think everybody missed an opportunity. both the president and the leadership of the congress. >> in part, that's because the leaders are not really leading. one side of congress is answering to conservatives who won't give on taxes and the other won't touch entitlements. it's no wonder they are getting nervous. >> is it getting scary up here?
>> it's not to the point of being scary yet, but it is heading in that direction. >> adding to the polarization in congress has been a steady stream of cent rifts leaving the capitol. the latest example, mike ross, one of a dwindling number of blue dogs and wolf republicans predict he won't be the last on joe walsh. he came down against the boehner proposal. >> a lot of those conservatives in the house. he has his own problems. thanks for that. if and when a debt deal emerges t may not include the tax revenues for the government. so many democrats had sought. it may lead to spending cuts and social programs. it could affect seniors and the middle class. from liberals, let's talk to barbara mikulski of maryland. thanks for coming in. >> hi, wolf.
it's very tense and very toxic here right now. >> let's get to some of the specifics. are you with harry reid's latest proposal with no tax revenue and no tax increases on billionaires and billionaires and no increases on corporate jet owners or anything? all of the cuts come from discretionary spending that could affect middle class and elderly and young people? are you with him on that? >> i am with harry reid to move towards a solution. i am with harry reid to work on a solution with speaker boehner. the reason i'm with harry reid is that we cannot fall and we cannot falter in allowing america to default on debt and also to have the downgrading of our debt. everything i believe in, the protection of social security and veteran's benefits and health care and medicare.
we would lose if we default. it would be the biggest tax on the american people when interest rates go sky high. their mortgage will go sky high and students loans and car loans. we cannot allow this to happen. >> i assume you are also not only with harry reid, but with the president who was even willing to make cuts in entitlement spending like social security, medicare, and medicaid if necessary to get a deal with the republicans? >> the president was working for a deal that also included not only reform and entitlements, but revenue. that is now off the table. what harry reid is suggesting is not only cuts in spending, but we will cut defense. we will cut by $1 trillion with the drawdown with the war in iraq and afghanistan. this is something the republicans have already agreed
to. it was in the budget and will not negatively affect our troops or veterans and the military health care. i'm for that. would i like to get rid of the sacred cows like tax subsidies for ethanol, oil and gas subsidies and the private jets used to take kids to summer camps? you bet. but we are not there. we have to be with the american people. >> would you be willing to go as far as so many republicans would like in the house of representatives to include a balanced budget amendment to the constitution so you don't have to worry about them to require them to balance the budget? >> the balance the budget amend cemetery a sham and a scam. what it would take is several years and we need to balance the budget now. we need the down payment which is suggested by harry reid and a
joint committee of the congress, house, and senate that will get to us and bring us in balance in 10 years. i worked on the era. we never got it through and could take years. by the way if they offer a balanced budget, i will second it with the e.r.a. amendment to make sure women and children are not thrown under the bus. >> the word is toxic. you have been a senator for quite a while. is this the worst you have seen it in washington? >> yes. because we were so polarized. we need to make sure we put instead of our political party first, we need to put america first. we need to think about the united states of america and creating jobs in the united states. we need to begin to move forward in a 21-century economy and the
only way we will do that is if we are citizens of the united states with one pledge which is to the flag, not to a political party or a political platform. there people like me, i'm a dino democrat and i'm sure want to make sure the people i represent are at the table and working for them. >> know you want a deal between now and tuesday when the debt ceiling has to be raised. here is the question. will there be a deal to avert this economic catastrophe? >> for there to be a solution, there has to be the changing of hearts and minds. the only way you get the change of hearts and minds is for the american people to continue to flood our phones as they are now saying act like americans, act like adults, work for the good of the country and not for the good of your own. >> there will be a deal you think? >> yes. >> let's hope there will be.
thanks for coming in. we just received word that a united states congressman has been arrested over at the white house. we will give you the details. that's coming up next. an atf official admits they made mistakes, but did they allow hundreds of guns to fall into the hands of the mexican drug cartel s? hey ! chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ? chocolate ! chocolate it is ! yeah, but i'm new, too. umm... he's new... er... than you. even kids know it's wrong to treat new friends better than old friends. at ally bank, we treat all our customers fairly, with no teaser rates and no minimum deposit to open. it's just the right thing to do. naturals from delicious, real ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives. naturals from purina cat chow. share a better life.
. just into "the situation room," a congressman has been arrested over at the white house. lisa sylvester has that and the top stories in "the situation room." what happened? >> an illinois congressman arrested in a protest outside the white house a short time ago. democrat luis gutierrez was among 11 people sitting on the sidewalk to protest immigration and deportation policies. they were led away in plastic handcuffs after ignoring repeated warnings to leave. the private funeral was held in
london for singer amy winehouse and her father released a statement saying in the days before her death she was the happiest she had been in years. winehouse conquered her drug addiction and was trying to control her drinking and just marked weeks of sobriety when he died. the cause of death is unknown. david woo is resigning. the oregon democrat is embroiled in scandal with unwanted sexual adadvances and allegations of bizarre behavior including this picture of him in a tiger suit which he sent to members of his staff who urged him to seek psychiatric help. he said he was under the influence of prescription pain killers at the time. mcdonald's is vowing to pressure and making changes to the happy meals for kids. they will cut in half the portion of french fries that comes with the happy meal and add apple splices to reduce the calories by 20%.
it will debut in september and go nationwide by next spring. happy and healthier meal. >> french fries or apple slices. your kids, what do they want? apples or french fries? >> my son likes apples, but he likes the fries too. >> operation fast and furious. under fire. did the atf fuel the drug wars with humans of weapons? here in washington they are demanding answers. bl in here, everyone speaks the same language. ♪ in here, forklifts drive themselves. no, he doesn't have it. yeah, we'll look on that. [ male announcer ] in here, friends leave you messages written in the air. that's it right there. [ male announcer ] it's the at&t network. and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say.
humans of guns are put in the hans of mexican drug cartel s. joins us now with details. what's this all about? >> the inspector general of the department of justice has begun an investigation at the request of attorney general eric holder into the controversial atf operation named fast and furious. furious is exactly the word to describe a hearing on the subject today. >> seems like this is the mo, curly and larry show. >> this was no comedy.
members were fuming at their failure to get answers about the fast and furious program. it was intended to bring down large firearms trafficking organizations linked to mexican drug cartel s. atf whisle blowers said they were allowed to walk in the parliaments of law enforcement and many ended up in mexico. they told congress they made mistakes and when they denied perming the weapons was part of the operation, one member was incredulous. >> are they lying or are you lying? >> this investigation might be that we have not let guns walk. >> you are entitled to your opinion and not to your facts. >> personnel based in mexico said they were never told about it. they offered apologies to the mexican people. agents said it violated the basics of training and best practices.
>> this case made my life more difficult for me personally. imagine my shame. my mother called me on the telephone and said please me you weren't involved in this. >> republicans want to know if higher ups approved fast and furious and accused d oj of stonewalling. >> the justice department is not our partner in this effort. they are the subject of this investigation and their continued influence will not be allowed to derail the work. >> a spokesperson said that is ridiculous and not true. we provided thousands of do you means, interviews and testimony. >> more than 1,000 of the fast and fuft guns are unaccounted for and the straw buyers of the people who bought the guns and went to the cartel s are free on bail. according to testimony today are still able to buy firearms. wolf? >> thank you. we'll be right back. you name it.
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what do we know, kate? >> reporter: a potentially big problem, at least unwelcome news for house speaker john boehner this evening. as you well know and well remember, wolf, in boehner's plan it called for cutting spending by over $1 trillion over 10 years. well, the congressional budget office, the office that's charged with scoring or giving a cost estimate for legislation, it just released its estimates of the boehner bill, and it says that the speaker's plan falls short of what its aim was. it says that it only -- the bill only reduces deficits by $850 billion over 10 years and that's a problem because of the speaker's pledge. he said that one of the principles moving forward, wolf, you know, was that the spending cuts had to be greater than the amount they would increase the debt ceiling by and they were going to be increasing the debt ceiling this first step by $900 billion, so this does not work. this does not go along with what he's pledged to do. and so now we're told that staff are scrambling at this moment
trying to figure out the path forward really and a spokesman for speaker boehner in a statement to me acknowledged that they are looking at options still this evening on the eve of this expected vote on ways to rewrite the legislation in order to keep with their pledge and get their numbers really right, wolf? >> because it's obviously a key issue right now. the vote is supposed to come up tomorrow, if they rewrite the legislation, do we know if they could still have the vote tomorrow, or do they have to wait the two or three days, post it once again, let the cbo score it once again? because the clock is ticking. we only have until next tuesday. >> reporter: great question, wolf. it doesn't seem that they technically would have to start all over, if you will. they still were told at this moment are aiming for a vote tomorrow, possibly something could be worked out in an amendment process to this bill. but at the very least, this is -- could be a big problem in selling this plan, especially to house conservatives, as you and i talked earlier this evening,
that house conservatives are not happy with the bill. they don't think it goes far enough. this does not help house speaker john boehner's argument to get them on board. >> there's no guarantee as we heard from a few conservative republicans in the house who have bolted from boehner's earlier proposal. they don't even believe he has the 217 votes to get it passed assuming they can come up with the legislation. have you done any head counts up there? >> reporter: no head counts, but we've been told that policy aides if you will have been working with various staff trying to brief everyone to try to explain to them this -- this bill, this legislation, to try to kind of convince them to get on board. this does not help this argument this evening. they can still work on it. they can still work at ways. they're looking at options they say to rewrite it so it can match the pledge that they've said that they would make. but this evening it's not good news for them. >> yes, another setback indeed. all right, thanks very much. jack cafferty's coming up with your e-mail, as president
obama more concerned with his re-election than with the welfare of the country? that's jack's question. the e-mail when we come back. nasty. vile. but i used tide and tide booster, and look at them now! now they can be my thing forever. yay. that's my tide. what's yours? i use tide sport because it helps get odors out of athletic clothes. i mean, i wear my yoga pants for everything. hiking, biking, pilates... [ woman ] brooke... okay. i wear yoga pants because i am too lazy for real pants. that's my tide. what's yours?
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we told you earlier, there was one other incumbent president challenged by a member of his own party, pat buchanan ran against george herbert walker bush to no avail. the question is president obama more concerned about his re-election than the welfare of the country? it depends on who you are, if you're a tea partier and republican, yes. if you're not with one of those groups, you'll realize he's looking after the middle class and the poor. after all he's not a republican. mcconnell said his main goal was to make this man, quote, a one-term president, who is only thinking about elections. michael in california rights, seriously, jack, not only is the question inflammatory, it is inaccurate. the question should be aren't the house republicans concerned with raising the debt ceiling or defeating president obama? you're showing your true colors, old man, trying to move over to fixed news where you belong. no, i think he's desperately trying to roll a huge uneven, uncompromising republican
boulder up hill. whether he's more concerned about re-election, the president is correct to insist on a debt limit that will take us past the election. without that there will be nothing but posturing until the election. the business of the country be damned. david in florida writes, no more so than the rest of the slime balls in elected office. wouldn't it be nice to make the characters live in cardboard boxes in arlington national cemetery until the debt ceiling mess is resolved and they actually have a 2012 budget in place? take the bus instead of being driven to work. go dumpster diving for their meals and bathe in a stream. why should i care about their well-being? they don't care about mine or anybody else's for that matter. david in virginia writes, frighteningly yes, it was clear from his budget submission in february that he's absolutely out of touch with economic reality. his current preference for a smoke-and-mirrors deal from harry reid that will kick the can down the road and take him past the next election. i wish he'd spent the 30 minutes he'd spent on tv last night politicking reading a book about leadership instead. ander